Thanks for all your interaction tonight.
Congratulations to Villa - Hope you enjoyed the commentary and raise a cup of cocoa to celebrate! As for Sunderland - those two recent wins could still be enough - but how vital they are looking now. Both will hope that Wigan come away from West Brom pointless on Saturday.
What will this do for the respective confidences of Villa and Sunderland?... Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle now on 37 points - five clear of Wigan who have a game in hand. Villa go to Norwich on Saturday now - and Norwich are only one point ahead of the trio
It's over.... 6-1 for Villa wipes out their goal difference disadvantage over Wigan and Newcastle.
Not a good weekend for the North East - 12 goals conceded
We're into four minutes' added time, but the Villa fans don't want this to end, greeting every pass with a cry of shoot and "we want 10"
David Vaughan's first touch is a nightmare one, a slack back-pass straight into the path of Gabby Agbonlahor who calmly rounds Mignolet and slots home - the Holte End can't believe this now
Craig Gardner's nightmare return to Villa is over, he's replaced by David Vaughan
Bent with his back to goal, lays it off to Weimann, but his shot is straight at Mignolet
Sunderland just want to get on the bus now. How much damage this will do to their morale remains to be seen. They face Stoke at home on Monday
Nick - Not only the result we needed but the scoreline helping our goal difference could prove vital
Benteke is going off to a huge ovation - on comes Darren Bent
Suddenly Villa have the chance to hit the magic 40 point mark when they go to Norwich on Saturday
When was the last time the 'Oles' were heard at Villa Park?!
Ross - Fantastic performance from villa tonight!! Our destiny is in our own hands!!
Benteke completes his hat trick, but its a calamity for Sunderland as the ball bounces off Cuellar to Benteke... he controls it and hits it at Mignolet from a narrow angle, but it goes straight through the goalkeeper - a soft one
AND STRAIGHT AWAY ITS 5-1 VILLA
That could have severe repercussions for Sunderland - that will be the end of his season through suspension - it was mistimed, I'm not convinced it was malicious
It's all going wrong for Sunderland - Sessegnon sees a straight red for an over the top tackle on Sylla
Benteke hits it first time on the back post but he mis-hits it across the area. It falls to Weimann who smashes it goalward, it's parried by the goalkeeper, back to Weimann who smashes it but it's cleared off the line
Booking for Danny Rose for a needless foul on Weimann
Delph takes on the whole Sunderland defence on his own and threatens to beat them, before he's finally stopped on the edge of the box
We shall not be moved ringing out from the Holte End
Westwood's corner is met at the far post by Benteke - a great downward header finds the corner and this looks all over
ITS 4-1 TO VILLA!!!!!!!
That was dangerous... a great ball in from Johnson goes right across the box, Vlaar ducks out of the way and it just evades N'Diaye
Agbonlahor's shot from outside the box took a nick off Bardsley which wrong-footed Mignolet - he could only parry it to Christian Benteke who couldn't miss
GOAL FOR ASTON VILLA!!! 3-1
Looked like a foul from Johnson on Bennett, he's still down as Sunderland come away with the ball, eventually Rose is fouled - the crown aren't happy. Chance for Sunderland to deliver but Craig Gardner's ball into the box from a central position drifts harmlessly out of play
Bennett floats the ball straight to Mignolet
Lowton is fouled by N'Diaye and there's a few handbags as he tries to take a quick free kick, the referee calms things down
Wigan will have a game in hand after this - they play Swansea at home next week to catch up... a winnable game for them
So here we go for the second half.. no changes for either side at half time
Pete - It's too close, Villa need to get this game in the bag, then look at sacking Lambert and getting Harry on board for next season
Aron - I'm a Newcastle fan and it hurts to say this but a Sunderland win will boost our relegation battle..then again we shouldn't have to rely on others for our own safety!! Come on Sunderland do us a favour
Scott - knew this would happen come on Sunderland pull yourselves together!!!
Kieran - Electric atmosphere down at Villa Park. We need to keep up the pressure. But be careful of the counter attack, that's where Sunderland will get us: on the break. Rose looks dangerous but keep him quiet and we will get the vital 3 points. C'mon U Lions!!
Steven - It looks like Villa have the better of Sunderland. is the honeymoon already over for Paolo Di Canio?
So what are your thoughts after that half??? email me email@example.com or tweet me @1rebs
And it is half time. Villa are halfway to a vital three points but Sunderland aren't out of this.
Looks like everyone is ready for half time to catch their breath after that mad 8 minutes!
Three minutes to be added and Sunderland have a free kick which Johnson will take from the flank..but again he overhits it, too high for Graham at the far post.
Larsson's ball into the box is inviting, Guzan claims it but he's clattered into by Graham. The ball is put in by Johnson but rightly disallowed, although Danny Graham isn't happy
Villa are gaining in confidence but Sunderland are still dangerous on the break. Adam Johnson breaks forward but his shot from wide, 25 yards out is miles over
N'Diaye looks up, sees nothing on so has a pot shot which troubles Guzan, but he smothers it
Huge celebrations from Paul Lambert then. You can see how much this means to both clubs
Lowton intercepted a poor long ball, looked up and delivered an inch perfect pass to Weimann on the far post. He controlled it brilliantly and passed it into the corner.. great direct goal
GOAL!!! VILLA ARE BACK AHEAD 2-1
Cuellar's foul from behind on Benteke earns him a booking
Graham got clear on the left, flicked it inside to Danny Rose who finished expertly, flicking it past Guzan into the bottom corner
GOAL!!!!!! SUNDERLAND EQUALISE STRAIGHT AWAY
The ball was bouncing around on the edge of the box, Agbonlahor and Delph had shots blocked before it fell to Ron Vlaar 30 yards out and he blasted it past Mignolet
GOAL!!!! ASTON VILLA TAKE THE LEAD
Sessegnon is sandwiched between two Villa players in midfield to win a free kick... chance to deliver into the box for Larsson but it is too long and is in the hands of Guzan
Adam Johnson beats Bennett too easily, pulls it across towards Danny Graham but he can't reach it
Benteke and Agbonlahor combine really well on the edge of the box, a one-two puts Agbonlahor in on goal, but he mis-hits it inches wide of the post - he should've done better there
Westwood swings it in but it's cleared away easily, it was overhit hugely
Lowton plays the ball in, Rose slides it out for the corner
Good run by Danny Rose but he's crowded out - not a lot of space out there at the moment.
Bardsley gives the ball away, it falls to Agbonlahor on the right but that's a poor ball straight into the hands of Mignolet
Bennett plays the ball into the box but it's cleared as the 19th minute applause starts for Stilian Petrov - And Paolo Di Canio joins in with the tribute
Neil Young - Villa to win 2-1! Come on lads! Villa have my continued support all the way from Canada!! Let's get these 3 points!
Collision between Rose and Lowton results in both players walking wounded. Lowton's come off slightly worse by the looks of it
Sunderland on the break with Johnson on the right flank but he puts a poor ball into the box which floats out of play
Much of the game being played on the halfway line at the moment with neither side over committing and getting back quickly
Foul by O'Shea on Agbonlahor gives Villa the chance to put the ball in the box... Westwood plays it in but it's poor.
Villa finally having some good possession, but it's all in the middle third at the moment
Sessegnon gets in behind, tries to square it to Graham but it's cut out and Villa clear it.. but Sunderland haven't come here to defend
But the corner is cleared easily
Johnson's ball in isn't dealt with by the keeper, Sunderland are almost in but Villa recover and concede the corner
Benteke fouls Bardsley as the game starts cagily
Di Canio's name being sung by both sets of fans - one more complimentary than the other!
Claimed at the second attempt by Mignolet. He missed the original delivery before catching it as it came back in
Villa have a corner
Predictably Craig Gardner getting a hot reception from the home fans
Villa kick off
Villa will be attacking the Holte End in the second half which they'll be pleased about
Huddles complete... we're almost ready for the off
The atmosphere is building ahead of the teams coming out, just 5 minutes to go now
Chris - This match is going to be a cracker. Aston Villa need the points more because they're in the thick of things more than Sunderland, so it is vital that Villa register 3 points because if they don't, they will fall deeper into trouble. I think Sunderland will just edge it as they have the better players... My prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Sunderland.
Not sure we can quite rank PDC with Sir Alex and Wenger yet!!!
Peter - I despise clubs that bail on managers mid-season, but PDC has been a blast of fresh air. He is already up there with the greats in the PL - SAF, Mourinho, Wenger, Mancini, Benitez and the others - in pure entertaiment value and I'm hoping he'll extend his win streak to an extraordinary 75%!
Keep your views coming to me - email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @1rebs
Scotty - I am actually nervous for us (safc) i hope we dont get too carried away with our recent results and think this is going to be easy
Grant - I think Sunderland will have a tough visit here this evening but I think it will be 3-1 to Sunderland . As a neutral watching this game I hope it's going to be a goal fest!
Tim - 1-0 for sunderland Graham will score. Hope Villa will get relegated. They are the most boring team in the league.
Meanwhile Paulo Di Canio could all-but ensure safety with a win for Sunderland tonight. They would move into 11th above Southampton, Stoke and Fulham with a win - on that magical 40 points
So what's at stake then... well if Villa win they will join Newcastle and Sunderland on 37 points - five points clear of Wigan in the dropzone (although Wigan will have a game in hand)
Tom - I'm so nervous I feel like I'm about to play myself. If Villa don't get anything tonight, I fear for our safety big time
Sky Bet make Villa favourites at 5/4, Sunderland are 9/4 and it's 12/5 the draw
Matt Wise - Huge game for both teams tonight. Di Canio has made a great start but i feel that Benteke will just steal the game! 2-1 villa!
Taufiq: Bennett is starting? Gawd ... lets hope Villa outscore Sunderland with that joker as part of our defensive makeup!
Simon - I'm going for a very exciting 3-3 draw. Villa to come back from 3-1 down. Benteke brace and a 30 yard tap in from Lowton!
Sean - can see this being 2-1 Sunderland with sessegnon first scorer mark these words
Stuart: Villa will have too much for Sunderland tonight, Benteke and Weimann score 2-0 Villa. Then on to win 2 more of remaining 3 games. Villa forever
Andy - This is Villa's best chance of beating the drop. A win and Villa could be almost home and dry. Wigan's run is awful. Villa need to be safe before the last game of the season.
Michael in Glasgow - Come on the mackems send Villa and Lambert down , a close 2-1 win on the cards I feel
Sunderland team: Mignolet, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Bardsley, N'Diaye, Larsson, Gardner, Sessegnon, Johnson, Graham
Aston Villa team: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke
TEAM NEWS, Villa make one change with Sylla in for N'Zogbia; Sunderland bring in Bardsley & Gardner for Colback & McClean.
Team news on the way...
John Spalding - hoping safc put the icing on my birthday with a good away win tonight aswell as keeping the Paolo party going. 2-1 Sunderland!
Kieraaan þ- Going for Villa 2-0 tonight, both goals from Benteke
Jack Spencer þ- I'm seeing another draw like Reading vs QPR, leaving Wigan to climb to safety (As per usual).
You can email me at email@example.com or tweet me @1rebs .... and you can start now, we're less than an hour from kick off now, so how are the nerves?
Stay right where you are and you won't miss a moment of the action, plus I want your views on the game as we go through so don't hesitate to get in touch and let me and your fellow fans know what you think
Good evening and welcome to the coverage of tonight's crucial game between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park with me Rebecca Stephenson
Kick-off is at 2000 GMT.